Q&A: Danielle from KOOKAÏ | AW16 Runway

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KOOKAÏ AW16 Runway
24 feb 2016

Last night I was invited to attend the AW16 KOOKAÏ runway show. The runway was set to the grandeur backdrop of the Royal Exhibition Building, with a decadent staircase featured in the centre of the set, KOOKAÏ brought New York street style to the runway.

Bringing to life the street theme, a short film shot throughout several inner city Melbourne locations by International blogger & stylist Margret Zhang was featured on the interior wall of the iconic building. The film featured campaign face and Victoria Secret Angel Sara Sampaio and New Zealand model Georgia Fowler and was accompanied by bespoke KOOKAÏ popcorn by innovative catering duo Tommy Collins.

The AW16 collection highlighted the inner street stylist with a mix of bold designs in flared trousers and bell sleeves, mini length skirts and oversized jackets. Luxurious textures of wools and silks in a classic monotone colour pallet exuded casual elegance.

I had the privilege of interviewing the Creative Director & Co-Founder Danielle Vagner. Read my interview with Danielle prior to the runway show below.

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What key trends will we see in the AW16 collection?

The key trends for Kookai this season are all inspired by current street style trends. Things such as our bell sleeves, flared pants and eyelets are all nods to the 70s. You will also see a bohemian chic feel coming through in our off the shoulder fluid dresses and neck ties. It was important to us that we created a collection that is timeless, wearable and makes you feel fabulous.

Favourite piece from the AW16 collection that we should keep our eye out for?

I can’t just put it to one! For shoes I love the Vanessa Tie Up Boots because they are so versatile you can make them look vintage, retro or modern. The Streamer Dress I wore this last night is another favourite because it’s feminine and sexy, yet sophisticated as well. Also a major essential this collection is the neck tie –  the one I wore tonight I actually made myself 20 years ago.

How did you select the materials used in this collection?

We are always inspired by different textures. We were inspired this season by fabrics that are more versatile  and have the ability to go from day to night depending on how they are accessorised. You will see this season we have used silk prints, suedes, leathers, wools and lace – all fabrics that, with the right silhouette, can take you from desk to bar.

Favourite place or city in the world?

Easy! Anyone who knows me well knows it is Paris! The first time I went I was 18 and the romanticism of the beautiful streets and the effortless way the women dressed really spoke to me, it feels like a second home for me.

Where do you look for inspiration for the collections?

Lots of things from art to movies, cities, architecture; I take inspirations from so many things. This collection in particular is inspired by the Melbourne girl and the sometimes forgotten history of this beautiful city. We recently had Margret Zhang shoot our campaign in some of Melbourne’s most iconic buildings such as The Manchester Unity Building, Nicholas Building and the Forum.These places have such rich history and decadent features it just made sense to bring the campaign home this year.

How do you stay updated on current trends?

Of course we look at fashion on a global scale, but honestly the best way I stay on trend is through my daughter Bianca. I am always asking her who the latest up and coming model is who I should be following on Instagram. She is at the age where she is at the forefront of fashion and what is on trend and she knows what the Kookai girls wants because she is the Kookai girl. She is sophisticated, stylish, confident and an individual. She knows what she wants.

You are heavily involved in the social promotion of Kookai, can you tell us how important is social media presence in the current market?

Social Media is the perfect platform for any brand, especially in fashion as you really get to showcase a brands personality through each post making it inspirational for the viewer.  It’s a fundamental part of our marketing strategy.

Kookai has a highly engaged global audience that really engage with our content.

What’s next for Kookai?

We are focusing more on our online boutique, having recently started shipping to the US which is fantastic and going really well for us. As always, we will focus on growing our presence in Australia and New Zealand as these are our primary markets and very important to our business.

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